July 19, 2016

Department of Insurance returns more than $6.6 million to Missourians in first half of 2016

Department assists pastor in claim recovery after the passing of his father

Jefferson City, Mo- After the death of his father, Pastor Doyle Sager of First Baptist Church in Jefferson City ran into complications with his father's insurance company. He contacted the Missouri Department of Insurance who helped him recover $8,565, just a small portion of the more than $6.6 million the department has helped Missourians recover in the first half of 2016.

In preparation to sell the duplex his father had lived in for 18 years, the inspectors noticed considerable hail damage to the roof. When Sager contacted the company, they claimed his father's policy only covered the home's contents and not the structure; however two years prior, the company had covered a hail damage claim under the policy terms. After months of calling the company with no resolution, Sager reached out to the Missouri Department of Insurance's Division of Consumer Affairs. 

"I would try to call the insurance company and as usual I was referred from one person to another," Sager explained "It's not a coincidence that once the Missouri Department of Insurance became involved that things began to move and move quickly."

Sager spoke with a consumer complaint specialist and filed a formal complaint at insurance.mo.gov. After the department reached out to the company about the complaint, they agreed to pay $8,565 to repair the roof. This allowed Sager and his family to sell the home and removed unnecessary financial stress as they grieved their father's passing.

"I have already told some people they need to contact the Missouri Department of Insurance," Sager said. "I told them the department will listen. They take your complaint and claim very seriously; they treat you with dignity and respect; and they get results. "

The department's Division of Consumer Affairs helps Missourians like Sager with a variety of insurance issues every day. In the first half of 2016, the department helped Missourians who filed a complaint recover an additional $6,663,928.

"Our consumer affairs team is trained to handle individuals who might be distressed due to financial difficulties," said Missouri Department of Insurance Director John M. Huff. "Missourians are encouraged to call us if they have questions or concerns about all types of insurance."

The department's consumer complaint team also answered 10,543 phone calls, handled 2,175 inquiries and assisted with 2,199 complaints in the first half of the year from consumers across the Show-Me State.

Health insurance generated the most complaints in the first half of 2016 with 778 formal complaints, followed by agent investigations with 469. Missourians complained most about claim denials and claim delays. The top complaints by category are indexed below:

Complaints by reason

Complaints by line of insurance

Denial of claim (533)

Health (778)

Delays (402)

Agent Investigations (469)

Coverage question (207)

Auto (425)

Unsatisfactory settlement/offer (148)

Life & Annuity (260)

 

Missourians with questions or complaints about their insurance agent or company are encouraged to call the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.  

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

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